Khalil Joseph Letter Collection


Khalil Joseph Letter Collection


Letter writing, Arabic; Correspondence


This collection consists of 47 Arabic letters from West Virginia, USA written between 1891 and 1919, a majority of which were written by Khalil Joseph (Khalil Youssuf). Other letters were either written by or addressed to Youssuf Nader Raad, Asaad Butrus, Aziz Asaad Butrus, Salem Youssuf Nader Raad, Sassine Asaad Butrus, Laila Mahmoud, and Shafiqa Asaad Butrus.  

While the content of Joseph’s correspondence shares a variety of personal details, the paper that he used tells its own story. Over time, the business that Joseph owned, K. Joseph Bros., changed in several ways, which is evident in the papers’ business letterheads. In earlier letters, the name of the business is printed as Modi & Joseph. Eventually, the name of the business changed to K. Joseph Bros. which is how it was listed in the 1908-1909 Syrian Business Directory. Not only did the name change over time, but Joseph also opened a second store in Shinnston, West Virginia. Often, Joseph would discuss sending money to family members, marital arrangement opportunities, and current issues in Lebanon. Despite the physical distance between Joseph and his family, he would often act as a voice of reason for various dilemmas.

 The Khalil Joseph Letter Collection is a unique and essential addition to the Khayrallah Center’s archive because these 47 letters detail Joseph’s life, family, and business as a Lebanese-American immigrant
during the early 20th century.


Jihad Bannout


Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies




Lala Al Saeedi, translation and metadata
Celine Shay, processing


Donor retains full ownership of any and all copyright currently controlled in agreement with Khayrallah Center. Nonexclusive right to authorize all uses of these materials for non-commercial research, scholarly, or other educational purposes are granted to Khayrallah Center pursuant to Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA).







Collection Tree

This collection is a part of a larger collection that has been divided into more specific collections.

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Family & Individual Collections
Khalil Joseph Letter Collection